The Lost Sheep
Luke 15:4 “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?”
This man has one hundred sheep. But one has left the flock and gone seeking something apart from the rest.
(Perhaps a distant patch of grass. Or following a butterfly. Or just wanting to be away from everyone else.
But he left to pursue an illusion. For there was nothing out there, that would have been good for him; that the shepherd would not have led him into.)
Still, ninety-nine sheep is pretty good. You’re bound to lose one or two; but the Shepherd does not see it that way.
He sees it, as the lost one feels: lost, unable by itself to come home. Exposed to the weather, and other animals. Away from the Shepherd’s care.
Perhaps the sheep had taken the care for granted: it would always be there.
At first, maybe, it was fine. The sun was shining, there were new things to explore. But he turns and does not see the flock anymore. Oh, well, he thinks.
But then he feels alone: he does not know where water is, or a safe place. He is lost. It wanders around, now, not knowing where he is, or where he should go.
So the man does for the lost sheep, what the sheep can not do for himself.
The man goes after that sheep.
And how does he do it? He leaves the ninety-nine in the wilderness grazing together; and retraces his steps, till he finds it.
The Shepherd finds it too weary to walk back to the flock, and rest. So he picks it up, and carries it.
And then leads the flock home.
Luke 15:5-6 “When he hath found it, he layeth it upon his shoulders, rejoicing.
And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.”
Rejoicing is a word which describes a calm, peaceful happiness. I have found what was lost. I have not lost any! (Everything is safe in the fold, as it should be.)
And the Shepherd calls His friends and neighbors to rejoice with Him.
Of course, we know that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd, for He gave His life for the sheep. (John 10:11)
1 Peter 2:24-25 “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto His righteousness: by whose stripes ye are healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.”
John 10:28 “And I give unto them eternal life; they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.”
And He is still seeking and shepherding us, as Christians, today.
Christians go astray, and we are in need of His seeking us again, and again.
Isaiah 40:11 “He shall feed His flock like a Shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”
Christ Jesus is now our Great Shepherd. He is now “making us perfect” or complete in Himself. (Lambs grow into sheep)
Hebrews 13:20-21 “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to Whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
He is leading us into all the places that are good for us (green pastures),
He is protecting us from all our enemies (wolves in sheeps clothing, things which “devour” 1 Peter 5:7-8)
He is “preparing a table before us, in the presence of our enemies” by giving Himself as an example, leading us. “Follow Me, and I will hedge you about in your everyday trials, meeting your needs by My grace.”
Maybe we are the lost sheep, or we have been the lost sheep.
Praise God, He has sent His Son to seek and save us (Luke 19:10)!
Whether we are Christians or not, if we have gone astray: Christ is seeking you, to save you…even now.
Romans 10:13 “For whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”